Building an Honest Microfinance Organization: Embezzlement and the Optimality of Rigid Repayment Schedules and Joint Liability
AbstractWe consider the agency problem of a staff member managing microfinancing programs, who can abuse his discretion to embezzle borrowers' repayments. The fact that most borrowers of microfinancing programs are illiterate and live in rural areas where transportation costs are very high make staff's embezzlement particularly relevant as is documented by Mknelly and Kevane (2002). We study the trade-off between the optimal rigid lending contract and the optimal discretionary one and find that a rigid contract is optimal when the audit cost is larger than gains from insurance. Our analysis explains rigid repayment schedules used by the Grameen bank as an optimal response to the bank staff's agency problem. Joint liability reduces borrowers' burden of respecting the rigid repayment schedules by providing them with partial insurance. However, the same insurance can be provided by borrowers themselves under individual liability through a side-contract.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 272.
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Microfinance; Contract; Embezzlement; Insurance; Joint Liability;
Other versions of this item:
- Doh-Shin Jeon & Domenico Menicucci, 2006. "Building an honest microfinance organization: Embezzlement and the optimality of rigid repayment schedules and joint liability," Economics Working Papers 893, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Conning, Jonathan, 1999. "Outreach, sustainability and leverage in monitored and peer-monitored lending," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 51-77, October.
- Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
- Ghatak, M. & Guinnane, T.W., 1998.
"The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice,"
791, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Ghatak, Maitreesh & Guinnane, Timothy W., 1999. "The economics of lending with joint liability: theory and practice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 195-228, October.
- Maitreesh Ghatak & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1998. "The Economics of Lending with Joint Liability: Theory and Practice," Discussion Papers 98-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Faure-Grimaud, Antoine & Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Martimort, David, 2003.
"Collusion, Delegation and Supervision with Soft Information,"
IDEI Working Papers
167, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Antoine Faure-Grimaud & Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 2003. "Collusion, Delegation and Supervision with Soft Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 253-279, 04.
- Antoine Faure-Grimaud & Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 2003. "Collusion, Delegation and Supervision with Soft Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 253-279.
- MkNelly, Barbara & Kevane, Michael, 2002. "Improving Design and Performance of Group Lending: Suggestions from Burkina Faso," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2017-2032, November.
- Armendariz de Aghion, Beatriz, 1999. "On the design of a credit agreement with peer monitoring," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 79-104, October.
- Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruno Guallar).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.